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Barnstead NH News

October 29, 2014

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OLOL/ST. JOSEPH

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

 

The OLOL/St. Joseph Women’s Club is holding their annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 9 AM-2 PM in their Parish Hall located on Route 4, Northwood, NH (next to the Northwood Town Hall). There will be a white elephant table, baked table with our famous cookie walk, knitted goods, books and puzzles. There will also be raffles and a tasty lunch offered.

 


 

White Buffalo Trading Post in Center Barnstead, NH is having their Annual Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 1, 2014. One of the Main Events this year will be the “ Pie in the face”  pie toss! Barnstead Police Chief Joseph McDowell will be the “Pie in the Face Target” for this event. All the proceeds raised will be divided equally and donated to the Barnstead Food Pantry & the Barnstead Youth Baseball Association! Please come and have a Fun-filled day and help us raise much needed funds for both of these organizations.  Many Thanks to all for your support and patronage as White Buffalo Trading Post celebrates another great year !

 


 

Belknap County Commissioners Update

In response to Mr. Hunter Taylor’s story

Submitted By The Belknap County Commissioners

 

There are a lot of half-truths, stories and outright fabrications being published about the current governmental crisis in Belknap County. Many so called experts, armchair observers and political commentators are coming out of the woodwork to pile on and create more confusion, and foster ill will for their own purposes. The fact that the local newspapers publish these stories and opinions, without regard to their truthfulness, does not make them true.

 

Here’s what you should know:  The crisis discussed in Mr. Taylor’s letter was created when the Executive Committee of the Belknap County Delegation. Representative Frank Tilton, the chairman of the executive committee, refused a timely meeting with the Commissioners to address transfer requests. Representative Tilton was well aware that the Commissioners had requested a date for a meeting that they could all attend. Any statement to the contrary is simply not true. Rep Tilton likes to convene meetings without regard to any one’s schedule but his own.  The Commissioners request was denied, as most are.  Representative Tilton and his committee held the meeting, knowing the Commissioners would not be present, just so they could be criticized openly.  A future date was not even set at that time.

 

While waiting for the executive committee to meet and discuss transfers, the county department heads were prevented from making life safety purchases (medical needs of inmates and the care of nursing home residents).  This was considered a crisis by the Commissioners and administrators.  The total of all transfers necessary to get through the year was calculated to be in excess of $600,000.  When asked to add the most urgent line item transfers being sought, the total came to $455,000.  The dollar amounts were not the issue at hand, the bookkeeping entries are now what dictates if needs are met or not.  The $10,000 turned out to be enough (after a half hour of publicly berating the staff) to provide for prescription medications for inmates over a weekend, to suggest that $10,000.00 was all that was really needed is disingenuous at best.

 

This county is currently under court order to stop over expending on an individual line item basis.  What this means is that the day to day operations of the county, traditionally the responsibility of the elected County Commissioners, is now in the hands of Mr. Tilton and his group. This is not the way any other governmental agency operates.  The legislative body does not have line item control for good reason; it’s impossible to react to changing situations the way a governing body is required to.  Do you go back to a Town Meeting if you need to use the office supply money for snow plow repair? When you add to that challenge, a legislative body that is too busy to deal with the needs of the county (or are they just unwilling?) things start becoming chaotic and dangerous. Such is the current state of affairs in Belknap County.

 

When the health insurance company returned premiums a choice was offered to every municipality; a check or a “Contribution Holiday”.  Belknap County eventually chose the contribution holiday, which was reflected as a discount on the invoice.  This came at just the right time to allow the county to fund its contractual health care obligations through the end of the year without violating the court order or violating the labor contracts we have with our employees.  The Executive Committee seems to be angry because the county is able to continue operating without compromising the budget.  This issue was no secret.  A very public lawsuit caused the return and within a week of the County receiving its portion, the Executive Committee was already angry and flinging accusations of wrongdoing.

 

To help with Mr. Taylor’s demonstration of line item control, let’s say the manager of a department realizes that he won’t need to spend as much money on payroll as he thought (someone retired), but a vehicle broke down and there’s not enough left in that line item to pay the bill.  Since the recent court order, the manager cannot repair the vehicle until Rep Tilton convenes a meeting, berates the staff for failing to predict all of this 18 months ago, accuses the commissioners of keeping it secret, and then, in good faith, approves an interdepartmental line item transfer.  Don’t forget that we’re not talking about spending more money, just spending the money where it is most needed.  Here’s another example; a water pipe bursts in the basement of the court house. The maintenance & repair line item is already spent but there’s a surplus in the janitorial supplies line item.  While the water runs, the department manager has to request a transfer.  Rep Tilton will schedule a meeting (if he’s not angry about something else), and the Executive Committee will consider the issue.  Hopefully, they’ll agree that it makes sense to spend the money on something other than its intended plan under certain circumstances, dictated by the daily changes that occur in the operation of any business.  Only then can a plumber be called.  As anyone inclined to look can see, this kind of micromanagement was never intended to be the way county government should be run, and despite what Mr. Tilton or anyone else might say, this is not the way it ever was.

 

If you want to know what’s happening at the county on a daily basis, you need to participate more often than once a month.  You also need to have dialogue - where one person talks and the other listens, then you switch roles.  This way you learn that sometimes you don’t have all the information.  So, did the Commission plan to use this contribution holiday as an opportunity to avoid violating the court order, the labor contracts, and to avoid spending more than the Delegation voted…YES, that was the plan.  (We have since decided to ask the Executive Committee to do the right thing and make transfers.)  That is our job; to exercise our managerial rights to facilitate the operation of the County. The accounting practices of the County are open and transparent to anyone who cares to take a look.  There are no secrets, no schemes, or slight of hands.  The Commissioners meet in public every other Wednesday evening.  The Administrative staff is available to answer questions, explain reports, or talk about the operation at any time.  You are welcome to call, email, or stop by.

 

Regarding Mr. Taylor’s respect issues; the Commissioners and the Executive Committee are equals. Both bodies are made up of elected officials with separate and distinct functions. One does not lord over the other. They have separate responsibilities; neither has oversight responsibility over the other.  The Executive Committee should not attempt to govern the organization, as they are now doing, and the Commissioners cannot raise and appropriate taxes. The current attempts at micromanagement render the operation of an otherwise efficient and effective operation chaotic, cumbersome and dangerously ineffective.

 


 

Letter To The Editor

Endorsement for Representative Guy Comtois

 

I am writing to give my wholehearted endorsement for Rep. Guy Comtois of Center Barnstead, your current state representative and candidate for re-election on November 4th.

 

I met Guy when he was first elected to the House of Representatives and assigned to my committee – Environment & Agriculture.  As its Chair, I was immediately impressed with Guy’s intelligence, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the agricultural issues with which we were dealing.  And for good reason - Guy and his wife Barbara are farmers.

 

Rep. Comtois uses his knowledge of agriculture to help other small farmers in the state, working tirelessly to steer them through the legislative process.  Guy has sponsored bills that removed restrictions on sale of small quantities of prepared foods from the farm direct to the customer without the need for a commercial kitchen, which allowed these small farm families to make up to $20,000 additional per year.  He was also instrumental in getting HB 608 passed this year – enabling farmers who process their own chickens to sell directly to restaurants without cost prohibitive USDA inspection.  Guy is a true champion of the New Hampshire farmer.  

 

We need Rep. Comtois in the House.  Please support Guy and vote on Tuesday, November 4th so he can continue to support local farms and local food in New Hampshire .

 

Rep. Robert Haefner,

Ranking Member and Former Chair

Environment & Agriculture Committee

NH House of Representatives

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

Having had the pleasure of working with Guy Comtois on both State and Belknap County business during the past biennium, I wholeheartedly recommend him to voters in Barnstead   Guy is well-versed in both the fundamentals and nuances of government and provides stellar constituent services.

 

As a small business owner with a farm, it is a strong sense of duty that calls Guy to service.  He is experienced, dedicated and deserving of your vote on November 4.

 

Dick Burchell

Belknap 5

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

My name is Bruce Marriott and I’m running for Barnstead’s State Representative. I’ve lived in Barnstead for 22 years and am an elected Library Trustee. I believe the representative for Barnstead should listen to and serve the needs of all residents, Republican or Democrat. If elected I would hold regular meetings to keep residents informed, and listen to any suggestions or concerns.

 

My opponent, Guy Comtois, and I have very different philosophies on the role of government. He believes the less government the better. I believe there’s a legitimate and necessary role for government in providing fire and safety protection, safe roads and education for everyone. It protects our environment, insures public health, and assists our most vulnerable residents. These are the things that define a community. Representative Comtois believes that with limited government, private enterprise will run things more efficiently. Some of the social service networks do a wonderful job, but they work in cooperation with government not in place of it. With few exceptions, big business seems more interested in profit than service.

 

In 2010 New Hampshire tried out this idea of limiting the role of government. Led by Speaker O’Brien, drastic cuts for many necessary services were enacted. Representative Comptois embraced O’Brien’s agenda which hurt working families by shifting the burden to homeowners. We now see increased property taxes, and lower income families are hit the hardest.

 

Lastly, as I have visited voters, many have expressed disgust that republicans and democrats cannot work together to get things. Each party thinks it has THE solution. As a result no one looks for common ground that would enable compromise. If I am elected, I pledge to start with an open mind and work with whomever is interested in solving the issues facing New Hampshire towns and cities.

 

Bruce Marriott

 


 

Oscar Foss Memorial Library News

Fancy Nancy Tea Party!

 

The Oscar Foss Memorial Library would like to invite the children and families of Barnstead to our annual “Fancy Nancy Tea Party” on Saturday, November 8th at 10:00am. Everyone should bring their favorite teacup and of course dressing-up in your ‘Fancy Nancy finest’ is always the best part! A light snack and beverages will be provided by the library, as well as some other fabulous fun and surprises!! Our seating is limited, so please call 269-3900 or come by the circulation desk to reserve your place today.

 

The staff at the OFML would like to invite all community members to stop by the library to check out what we have to offer when you come out to vote on Tuesday, November 4th.  The library will be closed on Tuesday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day.   

 

Please call the library (269-3900) or visit our website (oscarfoss.org) for more information about these or any of our other programs or events. There is always something happening at the Oscar Foss Memorial Library! Library Hours are: Monday; 2pm-8pm, Tuesday & Wednesday; 10am-5pm, Thursday; 5pm-8pm, Friday; 2pm-5pm, Saturday; 9am-Noon.   

 


 

Pumpkin ‘N’ Pine Country Fair

 

Save Saturday, November 1 from 9 to 2 for a charming, country church fair.  There will be fun, food, and treasures at the Congregational Church of North Barnstead, located at 504 North Barnstead Road in Center Barnstead.  Check off folks on your holiday list by choosing from an array of unique gifts, then stop with your friends for a delicious lunch in the Schoolhouse Café.

 

The fair has many favorite features including a Kitchen Table replete with baked goods, jams, jellies, relishes and pickles as well as appealing gift items for the cook in your life.  Find something for the nature-lover on the Birds and Bloom Table, and don’t forget to check out the holiday decorations, crafts, collectibles and handmade items from Ghana—something for everyone on your list.

 

Be sure to put in your bids for really special items featured in the huge Silent Auction which is the hallmark of the fair.  You will find items such as: a braided rug from Holmes Carpet; a contemporary table setting for 4; a bird house fit for a king; antique jars and mug; a green pottery bowl from Salty Dog Pottery plus so much more.

 

A special feature this year is the raffle of a queen-sized quilt made by the members of the Women’s Fellowship.  Be sure to buy a book of tickets and maybe you will be the lucky winner!  The drawing will be held at the church on Sunday, December 14 just in time for Christmas.

 

Follow the Pumpkin ‘n’ Pine Fair signs from Route 28 to the scene of the action and don’t miss this very special event to kick off the holiday season.  See you at the fair

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

Rich Leonard, our candidate for NH Senate, has been out talking to neighbors and potential constituents in Rochester, Farmington, Gilmanton, Alton, New Durham and Barnstead. He’s listening to our stories and finding out what is important to us. As a resident of New Durham, a pharmacist in Alton and having lived in Rochester for 26 years, Rich knows our communities well, and he is determined to listen more and learn more about what the people of this district need to build strong families and move New Hampshire forward.

 

Contrast this with Sam Cataldo, our incumbent state senator. While Sam accepts phone calls and emails from constituents, he appears not to be listening. For every issue about which I contacted Sam, he voted the wrong way, yielding to moneyed interests over New Hampshire families. Sam did agree to meet with his constituents here in Barnstead, but he followed up that meeting with votes that disregarded all that we had brought to his attention. We asked Sam to talk to his Farmington neighbors who work full-time but have no health insurance. When we followed up that request with emails asking about these conversations, he failed to respond. Needless-to-say Sam voted against Medicaid expansion.

 

Rich Leonard knows from personal experience what families need to be strong and secure, and he continues to take every possible opportunity to listen to the people of his district. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have conversation with Rich as he knocks on doors, you will assuredly be heard if he is elected. 

 

I urge you to cast your ballot on November 4th for Rich Leonard. He will work for us, not for the moneyed interests that pull Sam Cataldo’s puppet strings. It’s time for a change in Senate District 6.

 

Diane St. Germain

Center Barnstead

 


 

Laker’s Social Club Annual Harvest Competition

Barnstead winner__for_soup_contest copy.jpg

Pictured above are the winners: Ann Shea,

Nora Zuluaga, Jon Martin, and Arlene Gilmore.

 

The Locke Laker’s Social Club had their annual harvest competition for the best soup, stew, or chowda.   There were 18 members attending the event all having a tasting good time sampling the 8 various entries.  The entries were:  Seafood Chowda, Corn Chowda, Hearty Italian Sausage soup, Hefty Beef stew, Turkey noodle soup, Sancocho(Colombian) soup, Tomato Basil Bisque, and Macaroni tomato beef soup. The prize winners were:

 

1st. HEARTY ITALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP cooked by Ann Shea. 2nd: SANCOCHO SOUP (Colombian),cooked by Nora Zuluaga 3rd. tied:  TOMATO BISQUE, cooked by Jon Martin and other tied 3rd place winner was Arlene Gilmore with a SEAFOOD CHOWDA. Some members stayed to play Pokeno with Claire Moody as the Cover-all winner. 

 

Next Event will be a Harvest pot luck Brunch on Sunday, November 9th at 11:00 o’clock in the Lodge.  Those wanting to participate please bring something for the meal.  Please call Ann Shea at  393-7233 if you plan to attend.  Afterwards those who have reserved their tickets will attend the musical production of SOUTH PACIFIC at the Scenic Theatre presented by the Pittsfield Players.

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

As an employer I have always hired people who are capable of independent analysis and are willing to make intelligent decisions based on facts. That’s why I consider politicians who rigidly adhere to any particular philosophy or party dogma as being stupid and not deserving of my vote. A case in point are the politicians who promise they will not vote for any new tax nor tax increase under any circumstances. 

 

Anyone who lives in Barnstead, Pittsfield or the northern part of Chichester knows the road conditions on Route 28 near the Blue Seal store. The road topping has remained totally deteriorated for almost 2 years, causing drivers to swerve and often drive on the side of the road to avoid damage to their vehicle. The reason this unsafe condition is allowed to exist is because one party continues to starve the state highway department of funds to maintain our roads and bridges. This blanket anti-tax pledge, on both a national and local level is also the reason that unconscionable cuts have been made to programs that directly harm us, and doubly so our less fortunate neighbors. 

 

If you want a non-thinking mouthpiece then buy a puppet (Mortimer Snerd comes to mind) at a toy store. But if you want responsible representation that will make intelligent decisions on our behalf then ignore those advocating rigidity of stance, ignore party labels and vote for a person who is capable of thought and problem solving.

 

Steve Metzger

Barnstead

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

Dear Editor,

It has been my pleasure to get to know Guy Comtois over the past few years.  First as a neighbor and now as a friend.  I have found him invigorating to  discuss politics with and feel that I have learned much, as well I have also  come to see things with a different point of view sometimes.  I guess I would  simply state myself to be a socially liberal independent, and have had countless conversations with Guy where I felt listened to, the exchange being honorable and pleasant.

 

I feel strongly that Guy truly cares for the hardworking New Hampshire folks that he represents, with a particular endearment for his local farmer compatriots.  He has worked tirelessly to create legislation that makes sense for local food and farming.  For this I cannot thank him enough.  He is dedicated to preserving the natural heritage of New Hampshire and has built a life for himself and his family here in Barnstead that is the epitome of that.  His work is not done and I look forward to see what he may be able to accomplish given another chance at his seat.  

 

I understand that there has been, of course usual to political races, a lot said about Guy’s choices and voting record, I compel those of you who have questions or reservations to call Guy.  Ask him about his decisions, I have always found him to be forthcoming and easy to talk to,  and he always answers the phone.  

 

Warm regards,

JBHP

Center Barnsead

 


 

Letter to the Editor

 

Recently an Alton citizen told me that they were going to vote for Ray Howard because he was a conservative and had saved “us” money as a cemetery trustee.

 

I was taken aback by that comment but then realized that most Alton taxpayers are probably unaware of the details of the budgets during his tenure.

 

Elected in March, 2010, Ray was one of the trustees, and supported the 2011-2013 budget requests for the cemetery.

 

That first year (2011) the proposed cemetery’s budget was $101,656: a 4.6% increase over the previous year.

 

The overall town budget increase was 3.1% which included the new position of police prosecutor. Even with the new position, Ray’s proposal was almost one and a half times the town’s percent increase!

 

In 2012 this “conservative” proposed a 9.5% increase, from $101,656 to $111,340 for our town! This was the same year the selectmen and budget committee agreed to remove the full time cemetery employee and return the position to a part time one as had been the practice for SO plus years and a budget of $50, 732. Ray Howard vehemently fought this change.

 

So, how can Ray Howard say that he is a conservative when as a cemetery trustee, he supported a 4.2% increase and a 9.5% increase in these budgets? In my mind, actions speak louder than words.

 

The ironic part is that Peter Bolster (who is being labeled as “a spender”) was selectman at this time and fully supported changing the cemetery budget to save taxpayers money!

 

Can we afford this “conservative” as a State Representative with his past history... ?

 

Robert Loring Carr

Alton

 


 


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